Roper: Climate Caucus will prioritize environmental policy over economic recovery

By Rob Roper

In a video interview with VPRIG, Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford), who is co-chair of the legislative Climate Caucus, promised in reference to a question about the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and other “green” priorities, “While we’re in a pause in terms of actually advancing any legislation at the moment, we are still talking and thinking about the ways that we can come out of this at a full sprint.”

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

It’s debatable that GWSA was ever good policy (we would argue it is not) but, following an economic shut down bringing about massive unemployment, it makes less sense now than ever. Coming out at a “full sprint” to pass this law is in the current economic situation is dangerously delusional.

In her VPIRG interview, Copeland-Hanzas called the COVID-19 response a “practice session” for the GWSA. The way we’re dealing with this pandemic is, to the minds of her and her colleagues, similar to how we should deal with climate change. Indeed, the GWSA is in many ways a less drastic but still harmful version of the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Its goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating swaths of economic activities that rely on fossil fuels through restrictive regulation or outright bans. Turn off the economic switch. The only difference is with the GWSA, the plan is to leave it off forever.

Copeland-Hanzas goes on to say that when federal emergency relief dollars flow into Vermont in response to the COVID-19 crisis, they should be spent, “in ways that are advantageous to the climate as opposed to investing them in the same of fossil fuel rut that we’ve been in for the last hundred something years … projects like weatherizing homes and projects building out EV infrastructure — charging infrastructure — projects like accomplishing ‘complete streets’ so that you can be a bicyclist or pedestrian along the roadway.” I’m not sure that with small businesses such as restaurants and Main Street shops desperately in need of help and state obligations to education, pensions, the state colleges under increasing financial pressure that new “investments” in bike paths are what Vermonters will be screaming for.

The world has changed since the COVID-19 economic shutdown. The mindset of these Climate Caucus legislators hasn’t.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tony Webster

17 thoughts on “Roper: Climate Caucus will prioritize environmental policy over economic recovery

  1. Go nuclear!
    It’s carbon footprint is negligible. It’s power is cheap. We can keep our petroleum based transportation. Affordable EV’s don’t have range or speed. The don’t have comfortable six passenger capacity. They don’t have AWD. The batteries are very toxic and there is no current waste stream for recycling or disposal. They don’t have high crash test ratings like Subarus. Public charging stations are few and far between. Recharging on the road is time consuming, twenty to thirty times longer than pumping 15 gallons of gas in my Subaru. Hope the EV driver isn’t late for an important meeting.
    Meeting the Paris Accord standards in the time frame of 2025 is ludicrous. Even the President thought so. That’s why he pulled the US out of it. It’s too short of a time period to be accomplished in, without damaging the economy. The economic results would be no different in VT. At the speed the libs want to implement their green agenda, no preparations have been planned or implemented. No infrastructure to support their ideas have ever been addressed. They got all kinds of ideas from green energy companies and equipment manufacturers, but mostly untested ideas. They want VT to be their guinea pig.
    What will the libs do if they get their wishes and the economy tanks, and the suffering public become violently demonstrative. We are seeing it with people around the country due to pandemic associated PTSD. Less than peaceful demonstrations. People are being shot over not wearing masks or being refused indoor service. The libs should tread lightly with a public already stressed out from the pandemic.

  2. Rob. This was an informative and education commentary. But I must disagrees when you said, “dangerously delusional”. That’s like saying it’s not delusional, but it’s close. I say, it is delusional, totally and purely. And delusional is a state that is inherently dangerous.
    Great commentary. Sorry for nit picking.

  3. If we threw a bone to all of those who are concerned about the environment, lets say…

    Allowed imported cars that get 50mpg for les than $8k new….
    Allowed small homes to be built.
    Perhaps dredged the bay of it’s nitrate filled sediment and put back on the farms.

    Those people would have a place to land….other than the Vermont Democratic Party.

    If we exposed their lies, rather than just saying “no carbon tax” we might get more conversions to true stewards of the planet. The carbon tax is solely about power and money. When you expose that you might win hearts.

    How about promoting other sources of power?

    Showing concern for the environment does not make you a weak Republican nor does take away from the argument that a carbon tax is moronic. What showing a total disregard for the environment does is keep everyone from voting for Republicans. When you love somebody and they have spinach in their teeth at an important social gathering, you let them know.

  4. FYI all, slightly off topic. But VT Digger is at it again, CENSORSHIP! Me. Tim Volk wrote a great Op-Ed there. Read it. I replied with solutions to start addressing the collapse. I posted this and VT Digger editor REFUSEd to allow it. WHY? It is all common sense and proves what the legislature cares about…all environmental and social issues. If you feel up to it, got to Tim Volks Op-Ed…and post a reply to the Digger editor to read. WHY DO YOU BAN Mr. Green’s reply? Digger is purely a “Liberal Political Action Committee” and a tax fraud, by calling themselves an open minded “non profit”. Please see if you agree with my solution. HA HA! Copy and paste it and post to Digger! That will REALLY piss off the biased editor!:

    “Mr. Volk, my solution – ban all legislative “Justice Issues” and get down to saving VT, it’s people, finances and economy. Halt all “Save-The-World” legislation – immediately. Look at what they only care about: “Social Justice, Economic Justice, Gender Justice, Identity Justice, Environmental Juctice, Racial Juctice., Food Scrap Composting Justice, Income Equality Justice,“Tax The Rich” Justice, Union protections Justice, Storm water runoff Justice, Global Warming Justice, Climate Change Justice, Fossil Fuel Justice, Pipeline Justice, Organic Food Justice, Fertilizer Justice, Fracking Justice, GMO Justice, BST Justice, more people subsidies Justice, Rent Justice, Renewable Energy Justice, Solar Justice….Property Tax Justice … Condom access in high schools Justice…Electric car Justice…and SO many others things similar.”

  5. Has anyone seen the interview with Dr. Judy A Mikovits regarding the lies behind the whole covid 19 mess?

  6. No wonder Vermont is in such a mess. All these air heads keep focusing on the HOLE in the doughnut rather then the part one eats. How these idiots keep getting reelected is beyond me. But upon reflection the old bromide comes to mind one reaps as one sows.

  7. Spot on Rob. The “Climate Freaks” in Vermont will stop at nothing to see that their FALSE NARRATIVE is pushed down the throats of Vermonters. Their scenario has no true facts, science or otherwise, but will certainly send Vermont and Vermonters to the Poor House.

  8. Rep Copeland-Hanzas needs to watch Michael Moore’s new film and be alerted with the facts that each of the “green energy” solutions being pushed on Vermonters are far worse for the planet than just using fossils fuels. The whole legislature should be required to watch it before they vote on anything at all.

  9. “Coming out at a “full sprint” to pass this law is in the current economic situation is dangerously delusional.”

    Dangerously delusional describes more than a few of the far left occupants of the State House. It’s practically a job requirement. Wait till they pass their hare brained carbon tax. The giant sucking sound will be the mass exodus of all the Vermonters voting with their feet.

    • Robert,

      She is a product of Vermont’s education system.
      How come such idiot folks even get elected, and re-elected?

      Based on her statements during past years, she does not have a clue about energy policy and what might be the results of each measure.

      She is an energetic, rebel-rouser and should not be listened to.

      Almost ALL the energy measures of the last 25 years have done nothing, except to INCREASE the CO2 of Vermont; such competence!!


      EVs reduce very little CO2, on a lifetime basis, if upstream and embodied CO2 are included.

      The engineers at EAN and VT-DPS are using THEIR way to make CO2 reduction calculations, based on fudged numbers, to deceive almost all legislators and most of the lay public.

      • Addition to comment:

        Deceptive EAN Method, PE basis; Aided and Abetted by VT-DPS

        The Vermont average mileage for light duty vehicles, LDVs, all sizes, was 22.7 mpg in 2018. See URL, page 2.

        If the “Vermont LDV mix” were EVs, it would draw, via a wall socket, at least 0.400 kWh/mile, based on real-world driving of about one year.

        A typical eco-conscious person, who would buy an EV, likely already drives a higher mileage vehicle, say 30 mpg EPA combined. Any CO2 reduction of EVs should use such a vehicle for comparison.

        However, EAN engineers compared a small EV (Nissan Leaf S Plus) using only 0.316 kWh/mile with the “Vermont LDV mix” (22.7 mpg), which is a deception, i.e., apples to oranges.

        On top of that, EAN engineers, colluding with VT-DPS engineers, used an artificial/political, extra-low, 34 g CO2/kWh, based on “paper” power purchase agreements, PPAs, which is another deception. See Note

        Both deceptions increase the CO2 reduction/EV; very few legislators and other lay people would notice such hat tricks.

        The combination of deceptions enabled EAN to claim an excessive CO2 reduction of 4.500 metric ton/y per EV. The Concerned Scientists Union likely would give that approach its Seal of Approval. See table 4

        EAN engineers likely knew its deceptions would overstate CO2 reduction by at least 4.504/2.941 = 53%. See table 4

        NOTE: If EAN had compared “Vermont LDV mix” versus “Vermont LDV mix as EVs” (which would include 4WD, ¼-ton-pick-ups and large SUVs), i.e., apples to apples, and had used 323 g CO2/kWh, per ISO-NE (see Note and table A), EAN would have needed, not 90,000 EVs, but at least 1.53 x 90,000 = 137,826 EVs to reduce CO2 by 0.405 million Mt/y to “meet Paris by 2025″. See table 1

        – The 34 g CO2/kWh is an artificial/political value for 2018, concocted by VT-DPS, based on “paper” power purchase agreements, PPAs.
        – The low CO2 value is concocted to make EVs (and air source heat pumps) look extra good versus gasoline vehicles, primarily to 1) fool legislators, and lay public, and 2) get more funding for subsidized energy programs.
        – All legislators know they are being fooled, because I have sent them this and many other articles, but they go along anyway to promote party politics. See table B.

        NOTE: This “EAN method” just one example of rah-rah claims by pro-RE entities, which led to:

        1) Vermont having dysfunctional energy programs that placed an excessive burden on the near-stagnant Vermont economy (such as Net-Metered at 21.813 c/kWh and Standard Offer at 21.793 c/kWh. See table D), and
        2) Did not reduce CO2 from 1990 – 2018.

        NOTE: VT-DPS using paper PPAs to artificially/politically reduce the CO2 of the VT electricity sector is just another blatant example of deception to promote the RE businesses of EAN members.

      • She also wants to increase subsidies for electric vehicles “for the downtrodden and the poor” and have chargers everywhere.

        She likely does not know FOUR WHEEL DRIVE, SUV-style, electric vehicles are needed in most of Vermont.

        She likely does not know EVs reduce much less CO2 per year, than has been touted by Energy Action Network;

        NOTE: Ten employees of VT-DPS are EAN members.

        See URL

  10. The Rep. from Bradford has just proven herself a brainless twit that needs to be replaced ,she has no business anywhere near Montpelier .

    • Her backers or base are not the voting public. It’s the green power industry. They put her in office and she does their biddings. I’m sure she is well compensated for selling her soul to them.

  11. There’s a new film out by one of their icons: Planet of the humans. About the ecological benefits of the AGW cabal proposals. I shan’t watch it; it only reiterates what’s long been obvious to me. Perchance they might find it educational… Will the proposals of the GWSA demonstrate how our country is an experiment in democracy? The limited autonomy of the individual states within the bounds of the Constitution enable them to compete for population and industry by creating a beneficial balance of business and achievable lifestyle, of freedom and of personal security. Taxation balanced by benefits to the tax payers is demonstrating itself to be a strong factor in population shifts as is the over regulation exercised by a few states, making them attractive to tax and spend political dogmatists who know what’s good for you and to citizens fearing the burden of managing their own lives.

  12. Speaking of boneheads, this Rep from Bradford comparing this Wuhan Virus
    pandemic to the boondoggle ” Climate Crisis “, no shame or common sense for
    liberals in politics.

    Democrats motto ” never let a crisis go to waste ” ………..We deserve better !!

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